If the scheduled execution early Tuesday of convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy takes place, it will be the first time in 32 years that Illinois has put a man to death against his will.
The 1990 execution of double murderer Charles Walker took place because Walker waived his right to legal appeals, and the 1992 scheduled execution of Lloyd Wayne Hampton was postponed because he elected to continue to appeal his case at the last minute.
Gacy has no such option. His final appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in October, 1993.
Prior to Walker, the last person executed in Illinois was James Dukes, who died in 1962 in the electric chair for killing a Chicago police detective.
Walker's execution took place by lethal injection on Sept. 12, 1990 at the Stateville Correctional Center, the same place where Gacy is scheduled to die.
He was convicted in 1983 of killing a couple near Mascoutah, Ill. while robbing them of $40 to purchase beer.
Walker, who was 50 at the time of his death, had sought his execution since 1985, when his sentence was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.
His execution saw him strapped to a gurney and wheeled into the execution chamber, before being injected with three drugs; the first of which put him to sleep, the second stopped his breathing and the third stopped his heart.
It took approximately 11 minutes from the time the process started to when doctors pronounced Walker dead.
Prior to his death, Walker had a final meal of fried rabbit, biscuits and blueberry pie, washed down with coffee.
His final words: 'Tell Jesse and Vi that I will see them later,' referring to a Champaign minister who visited him, and his girlfriend.
Nic Howell, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, said the same procedure will be followed for Gacy.
'We have a set procedure for this, even though we rarely use it,' Howell said.
Lethal injection was made the means of execution in Illinois by the state Legislature in 1986. Prior to that, the electric chair was used, although the state had not triedto execute anyone since 1962, when Dukes, 37, was put to death at Cook County Jail in Chicago.
Dukes was convicted in 1956 of beating a woman in a Chicago church and shooting two men who tried to stop him. Dukes then fled, but was encountered by two Chicago police detectives who heard the shots.
A gun battle ensued, and Det. John Blyth, Jr., was wounded in the chest. Dukes was arrested the same day, hiding under a parked station wagon with a jammed pistol in his hand.
He was sentenced to death that year, and the legal appeals process took 6 years before he was put to death Aug. 24, 1962.
Dukes had to be shoved firmly into the electric chair and held there while being strapped in. He took a few deep breaths before the switch was pulled. Three minutes and 40 seconds later, he was pronounced dead.
Dukes did not request a final meal, and did not have last words. But jail officials found a copy of 'Five Great Dialogues by Plato' in his cell with the following passage circled:
'The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways, I to die and you to live. Which is better, God only knows.'